Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Traditions Part 1

It's always interesting to me how different people have different, fun and interesting Christmas traditions. For instance, it was really fun to weigh-in on a 'debate' that two friends were having last night about whether or not stocking stuffers get wrapped or not. (For the record, his family never wrapped the stuffers, hers did. I had to cast my ballot in his favor...if they're wrapped, they're gifts, not stocking stuffers! ;) ). I love knowing about people, (always love getting/filling out/reading all those e-mails that periodically make the rounds asking a million random questions - does that make me nosey??), so I'll share a bit of Christmas trivia about my Christmas traditions and then hope that you'll weigh-in and share some of your holiday habits with me!!

  • I'm totally a 'real' tree versus 'fake' tree gal. The idea of 'assembling' the age-old Christmas symbol just sort of makes me sad. However, increasingly over the years - years of children, puppies and now rotting sap-water in my carpet - I gotta admit it's lookin' better and better!! There are some pretty realistic ones out there, and again, after this year, the phrase 'pre-lit' really resounds in my soul! So how 'bout you - real pine or easy evergreen (in other words do you go for real or fake?)????
  • I love to cram in as many Christmas movies and specials as I possibly can, but don't really like to start before Thanksgiving (though I think this year we might have watched 'Elf' a few days before...). There's nothing better than curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket, hot chocolate (with whipped cream!), turning out all the lights except the tree and cracking up at Buddy the Elf ("Ooooh! What's a Christmas-gram??? I want one!!!) or get warm fuzzies from watching the 'Peanuts' gang, complete with Linus explainging the true meaning of Christmas. Those are two of my most favorite (Elf and the Charlie Brown specials) along with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and It's a Wonderful Life. What are your favorite Festive Flicks (TV and/or movie)???
  • I realized this year that most of my tree ornaments are full of sentimental value. I have a random mish-mosh of decorations which adorn my tree (only about 5 actual 'balls' in the bunch), many of which are from my childhood (way back in the days when I was the only grandchild on my dad's side, one of my aunts would take me to the 'Belsnickel' craft show every year and buy me an ornament of my choice. When I got married my mom left me take all the ornaments that were mine with me); some of the ornaments were wedding gifts, and others have been acquired by my own kiddos over the years. My most prized ornaments are ones that my mom & I made when I was little, and a few that were my Grandma's. I was a little sad to hear my kids asking this year if we could do a 'theme' tree with regular glass balls next year! What items grace the boughs of your 'tannenbaum'?
  • Getting down to the real reason for the season...do you display a Nativity scene in your home? I have one, but I really don't love it...it's a typical 'anglo-saxon' manger scene, where everyone looks very 'religious', but probably nothing remotely like what any of the people present for the history-changing event would have. I can't afford one at this point, but I would like to someday get a Willow Tree set because, rather than trying to depict the actual people, I think it more represents a reminder of the simple specialness of the Jesus birth - not fancy, nor Mary looking very 'pious' (she did just give birth - and in a stable (with no epidural) - keep in mind) but simply a night filled with awe that really couldn't be accurately replicated.

Since this is getting a bit long, we'll talk more traditions in another post. Here's a preview of Part 2:

  • Wrapping or gift bags?
  • Last minute shopper or done before Turkey Day?
  • Open presents in jammies or after everyone is dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed and sipping that first cup of coffee? (That could be a post in itself for me...)
  • Christmas cards or no? (Or have you gone the way of e-mailing your greetings this year...)

7 comments:

Bets said...

I like wrapped stocking stuffers - it extends the excitement! And I love starting all my Christmas preparations - including listening to the music and watching the movies - right after Halloween! :o) I love almost all Christmas movies - but none more than Elf - "smiling's my favorite". I loved this post and am looking forward to part 2.

Aunt Linda said...

Love your post! Here are my answers.

I wrapped the stocking stuffers, just because it helped to prolong the joy & happiness of Christmas morning. It was also a good way to use up the small pieces of wrapping paper I had accumulated. LOL

I used to be a "real" tree person until the prices got so out of control. Then they came out with the pre-lit trees that looked so real! I now have 6 fake trees of varying sizes, and it's nice to not have to worry about taking it down before leaving to spend Christmas in NC w/our kids. I light a Yankee candle & it gives me almost as much scent as a real tree.

I love Christmas music, movies & TV specials. It would be oh so wonderful if I could operate our DVD player without help! My fav movie is a toss up between White Christmas and It's A Wonderful Life. I normally begin listening to Christmas music in late October.

This year we only fully decorated 2 trees. One of them turned out looking like it came from a magazine! It's all done in red & gold. The other one is just some cute ornaments so Luke could help with it when they were here for Thanksgiving.

I, too, would love to have a Willow Tree nativity!!! I need to try to catch one on sale after Christmas, cuz they're pretty expensive.

Wrapping for some gifts, gift bags for others--it depends on the item & how it's shaped. I saw that they now have motion-actived gift bags, supposedly to keep little prying eyes away. Personally, I'd probably scare myself to death with that sort of thing!

I start my shopping early, but am not usually done by Thanksgiving. The last few years I have really taken advantage of online shopping. Many times I can get free shipping and no sales tax! Gotta love that! AND they bring it right to my door!

Open presents in jammies, but after teeth are brushed. We sit down with a cup of tea or coffee & enjoy the kids. How much fun will it be this year, with Avery being old enough to participate!!!

Christmas cards, but have cut back on them.

Looking forward to your next posting!

Laura said...

Thanks Bets and Aunt Linda- Jess was referring to me and Luke with that stocking stuffer comment. I'm glad I'm not alone!

As for the other questions:

real tree for sure

Charlie Brown and It's a Wonderful Life are my fav movies

As far as ornaments, I took all of mine from growning up (just several ornaments) when I got married and Luke's family gave each kid a new ornament every year growing up. We are continuing that tradition, so there are a couple up there that we gave each other. I also have a bunch of glass balls that bets decorated for me too. We have a nice variety. I love my tree with its white lights and tinsel.

And nativity- I too would love a willow tree nativity, but for now I have a small precious moments one...

good post

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOODNESS! THE WRAPPING STOCKING STUFFERS!!! I WAS VENTING TO NATHAN ABOUT THAT EARLIER. OUR FAMILY NEVER WRAPPED OUR STOCKING STUFFERS AND NATHAN'S FAMILY ALWAYS WRAPS THEM. HAHAH IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! :)I JUST DON'T GET IT LOL. I STILL LOVE YOU LAURA HAHA BUT I THINK ITS CRAZY. :) I WAS TALKING TO PEOPLE AT WORK AND THEY ALL DO IT HERE. SO IT MUST BE A PA THING. BUT ANYWAY, WE AGREED THAT NEXT YEAR NATHAN WOULD WRAP THE STOCKING GIFTS HAHA
CHRISTELLE

Anonymous said...

oh and the nativity set is so beautiful! we actually got that last year for a wedding gift. i checked on prices this year to add to it...and its really expensive..which stinks!
christelle
(im at work and forgot my password so thats why im anonymous)

Holly said...

OK, well since my mom (Aunt Linda) posted about the stocking stuffers, and the pj's I won't repeat her!

But this year we did go with a fake pre-lite tree - I couldn't bring myself to want to hang lights this year, so fake it is!

Late with my shopping this year - not like me. I like to get it done.

Christmas music - as soon as I think David won't make fun of me, I start listening! I do love the movie White Christmas!!!!

Denise said...

We wrap the stocking stuffers. I don't want them knowing what's in their stockings.

Real tree for us.. no matter how sorry looking it is I want real. My mother in law started giving us ornaments when we were first married. I think my oldest one from her is from 1974 or 75. I have some of the ones my kids made in school and some from my grandkids. I used to cry with each ornament when the kids would have theirs. Sappy sappy sappy... that's me.

I start my shopping whenever I can and the same goes for Christmas music. I haven't done cards in years.

I love watching White Christmas ... usually with Heather. I am a sap for lots of the shows .. even get choked up at some of the dumb commercials.

We open presents in our jammies except for Rick who has to get up and be dressed with coffee before we can start. Rick's folks have been coming up to watch so we wait for them too.

We have 3 nativity scenes on the mantle and the kids each have one in their room. Two are snowmen and one plain one for kids. Ella has the black version and Theo has the Native American version. We are diverse here. I also have a snowglobe one that plays 'o Holy Night' my sister gave me many years ago.

I think that's it... lol.